Design for Textiles (Fashion, Interior, Art) BA

  • UCAS code W232
  • Duration Up to 4 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Scottish Borders
  • Number of places 30


The Course

This programme is highly creative and designed to balance practice-based exploration with appropriate theory and fabric design methodology with fabric production techniques. It also aims to encourage independent learning in a professional, creative manner. The programme has elected pathways in printed and constructed textiles (woven and knitted textiles, with an option in Level 3 for fashion knit). The emphasis is fabric making with a personal handwriting geared towards different practical outcomes, many with the involvement of recognised design studios and companies. The main market sectors are fashion fabrics, accessories, furnishing fabrics, wall coverings, gallery pieces, greeting cards and gift wrap.

Career Prospects

Graduates have gone on to work with fashion/interior design companies, such as Jasper Conran, Calvin Klein, Cath Kidston, Next , Morton Young and Borland,, All Saints, Missoni, Eribe Knitwear, Lochcarron of Scotland, Zoffany, Benetton, Johnstones of Elgin, Marks and Spencer, Hallmark cards,, Holland and Sherry, Paul Smith, Abercrombie & Fitch.

Student satisfaction

The National Student Survey (NSS) 2015 puts the School of Textiles & Design top in Scotland in overall average with 90% of our students saying that the staff make the course interesting and support them and 91% of our students saying that they now feel they can communicate well and deal with any unfamiliar issues that might come their way.

Portfolio requirement

Once you have applied to UCAS you will be required to submit samples of your portfolio. The portfolio requirements are explained in the Guidelines to Applicants for Portfolio Programmes.

This programme is taught at our Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels.

Programme content

Level 1

Lectures and practical classes provide a foundation for development and help you decide which areato specialise in. Practical projects in printed and constructed textiles and CAD are underpinned by drawing, painting and material manipulation projects. Sampling and mixing techniques are encouraged to provide a wealth of fabric outcomes.

Level 2

Students choose either printed or constructed textiles (knit and weave), and explore a range of both Fashion and Interior textile projects. Study tours are organised for students to make contacts with studios and visit exhibitions and museums as a vital part of visual and market research.

Level 3

Participation in national and international competitions is encouraged. External companies set briefsacross courses, and this involvement helps you evaluate work critically and present professionally. Student exchanges are available, and a foreign study tour allows students to experience trade fairs Premiere Vision and Indigo.

Level 4

The origination of design work and industrial collaborations ensure strong support work beforeembarking on a personal project. A lecture series provides context or marketing strategy. Selected students exhibit their final collection of designs in London at the New Designers exhibition as well as on the University campus.

Your career

Graduate profiles

Laura Mackay

  • Degree BA (Hons) in Design for Textiles (Fashion, Interior, Art)
  • Present job Designer
Laura Mackay

I chose Heriot-Watt because of the reputation the School has for excellence in the field and links with industry. After visiting, I loved the look of the print room and the facilities, not to mention the friendly technicians! I specialised in print and thoroughly enjoyed screen printing and mixing up different dyes. I spent half of my time in the CAD lab and the other half in the print room combining digital prints with discharge, devore and foils. I was lucky enough to win a placement with Tigerprint and this helped me gain valuable work experience. I also spent my other two summers in work placements, Cath Kidston in London and John Robshaw in New York City. I have now been at Cath Kidston for two years and have moved on to design prints specifically for our fashion range. I would highly recommend Heriot-Watt for anyone wishing to begin a career in the textile industry.

Helen Finlayson

  • Degree BSc (Hons) Fashion Technology
  • Present job Owner of 'nelfin'

I decided the Fashion Technology course would be best suited to me. My initial interest was in design but I was keen to take advantage of the invaluable technical production and business skills that the course also offers. I feel this balanced outlook on fashion design has thoroughly equipped me for my chosen career path. I am now running my own bespoke fashion label, nelfin, in Glasgow, utilising the broad skill set gained at Heriot-Watt. I design and produce all my garments from start to finish, which is my favourite part of the job. I also deal with the business and marketing side of things, which may not be quite so much fun but fortunately the Fashion Technology course has given me a good grounding. I hope to develop my label further into a respected design brand, as well a commercially viable business.

Annika Arvidsson

  • Degree BA (Hons) Fashion
  • Present job Paul Smith, Knitwear Technical Design Assistant

The Fashion course gave me a good insight into what to expect in real working life. It was here that I discovered my passion for knitwear. There are quite a few textile businesses in the Scottish Borders, so I managed to get a job with a knitting studio where I learned a lot of skills and gained excellent work experience between study terms.

After graduating, I worked as a designer/assistant/sales person for 'Suttle Textiles' in Leicestershire. This gave me a lot of invaluable contacts and taught me more of the basics. With all these combined experiences, I was able to move into a really exciting role as a Knitwear Technical Design Assistant at Paul Smith in Nottingham. I have learnt that hard work and determination can take you anywhere you want!

Entry requirements

The University offers as its normal entry routes:

  • entry at Level 1, mainly for students with Scottish Highers (or similar)
  • entry at Level 2, mainly for students with A-levels (or similar).

There is nevertheless considerable flexibility, depending on the level of qualifications, for entrants with A-levels to opt to enter at Level 1 and for Scottish students to enter at Level 2. Direct entry into Level 3 is also possible for students who already have certain HE qualifications.

Level 1 entry

  • Highers minimum of ABBB including English
  • A-Levels minimum of BBB including English at a minimum of GCSE
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points
  • Additional information Selection is normally by application and submission of an online portfolio. The portfolio should show an aptitude to textiles through use of colour, texture, rhythmic pattern making and a logical design process. The ability to produce observational work in the form of both controlled and gestural drawing, painting and relief work should also be demonstrated.

Level 2 entry

  • HNC A in graded unit
  • Additional information Direct entry students are specialists in either printed or constructed (weave and knit) textiles.

Level 3 entry

  • HND A in graded unit. Entry into Level 3 may beavailable for applicants who have completed an appropriate BTEC (dependent upon places available).
  • Additional information Direct entry students are specialists in printed, woven and knitted textiles

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for 2016 entry (by residency status)
Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
FeePaid by SAAS£9,000£13,500

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the 3 years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships & bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree programmes in 2016

In addition to government maintenance loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.